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DJ Hero Planned For Later This Year 54

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick spilled the news that the DJ Hero game currently being developed by FreeStyleGames will be released sometime this year. He described it as a "turntable that you actually can play competitively and spin discs and mix songs." In an interview at the World Economic Forum, Kotick also explained why the games industry is in a good position to survive the recent economic troubles, saying that the amount of time people are playing games is on the rise, in part due to their low cost-to-time ratio.
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DJ Hero Planned For Later This Year

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  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @06:20AM (#26675963)

    I play a little guitar. I'm certainly no Hendrix or Santana, but I can play. It didn't take years and years of hard, painful practice either (well, hence why I'm neither Hendrix nor Santana, both of them did actually do just that, besides having exceptional talent, IMO), I just played and, over time, I got better. It's fun to sit down and strum a few bars that don't belong anywhere, just as a little background task while pondering a problem.

    Now, I happen to have a friend who is a Guitar Hero master (or whatever it is called when you play some hard songs on top difficulty). He did invest quite a bit of time to master this game. Yet what did he learn? To play a game. Not to play an instrument. I'm fairly sure, the same time he spent on practicing the game would have made him a quite decent guitar player.

    Now, I can understand why people play games instead of doing the "real thing" in other areas. It's not easy to become a NFL quarterback, so playing a football game is the easy way to have this experience. The difference is years and years of hard work. Racing a car is an expensive hobby compared to playing racing games. Playing an extreme sports game is way less dangerous and painful than actually doing the sports. Managing a computer simulation is less work than running for an office, and if you happen to fuck up, there's always the save game to save you. And I won't even get into the obvious difference between playing a FPS game and real war.

    But playing instruments? It's hardly dangerous, unless you fear the strings cutting into your precious fingers, it's not expensive, you can get cheap instruments (and, bluntly, you won't hear the difference at the beginning) for less than 100 bucks, used if necessary, and it doesn't take years of work to start doing what you want to do. Pick it up and play.

    So what is it that makes people interested in simulating what they can have for real, with little (if any) more effort?

  • by Arrakis Dv8r ( 1448299 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @06:37AM (#26676003) Homepage
    1. Flashing lights. 2. The music played is probably better than yours. 3. Multiplayer / Social Aspects where you don't have to see the other persons face. Anyone who plays these games is ugly, they don't actually want to go meet other uglies.
  • by DPyro ( 1384357 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @06:37AM (#26676005)
    Because Guitar Hero is lots of fun and playing guitar is lots of work? It takes a lot of time to get good at playing an instrument; not only do you have to master the technical playing of the guitar but you also have to gain a rudimentary knowledge of music theory and musicianship. Or you could just rock out to your favorite bands' songs with your friends. Not everyone who plays Guitar Hero wants to become a guitar master.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2009 @06:48AM (#26676049)

    Because its fun. End of story.

    I play guitar, bass guitar, piano, cello, bass (the standup version) and a few other instruments, i've been playing for over 20 years now. I can also beat Dragon Force (GH3) on Hard (Did expert once, im proud of that fact). Why did I spend time and energy into the game? Because I enjoy it. My friends have no musical talent (they couldnt hold a tune if it was on sheet music duct taped to their back), and we can play together, and have fun. We can sit down in an afternoon, drink some beers, order pizza and have fun. They have no inclination to pick up and play a real instrument, but they can have fun for a night playing with the plastic ones.

    Just because you picked up an instrument and learned to play, doesn't mean everyone has that ability/drive to do so.

    Playing Guitar Hero is to "Learn a real instrument" as Buying a Mac is to "Buy each individual piece from different vendors on the Internet, put them together, and install Gentoo" to most people. Its not out of most peoples ability to learn, the truth is, they just dont have time/care enough. Anyone can pick up guitar hero and have fun for an hour or so.

  • Re:Already done (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Amphetam1ne ( 1042020 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @07:06AM (#26676085)

    Do these Japanese games companies have plans on releasing their DJ game in other teritories anytime soon? on somthing newer than a PS2? With local hardware manufacturing so that the cost isn't through the roof? Will it be using licensed music tracks that westerners will actually know?

    I'd say that the answer to most, if not all, of those questions is a big fat NO. As such it may as well not exist outside of Japan because it's not doing anything for anyone outside of Japan.

  • by AAWood ( 918613 ) <aawood&gmail,com> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @07:12AM (#26676093)

    Put simply, because the return on investment is higher, quicker.

    A gamer can pick up a new Guitar Hero/Rock Band/etc game having not played any before, pick up the basics, and be playing songs within the hour. Within an hour of picking up a real guitar, the same gamer *might* be able to pick out a chord or two, following along to some guide they found online or, if they're lucky or have money to burn, with someone teaching them. Mastering Guitar Hero can take months, at which point you're "playing along" with dozens of your favourite bands and feeling a sense of some accomplishment. Mastering a guitar can take years (well, *really* mastering a guitar can take decades), and at the end of it it's still you and your guitar, nothing more. Maybe one guitar player in dozens will wind up actually out there in a band worth a damn, and maybe one in ten thousand will wind up hitting the big time. The number who wind up playing with all their favourites... too small a number to quantify.

    To put it another way one is a game, and the other is an art form, and the two are very very different. Why would I want to practice an art form when I just want to play a fun game? I have utmost respect for anyone who can learn an instrument, even tried it myself for a while, but it's not the same thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2009 @08:18AM (#26676265)

    That's what those things on the sides of your head are for.

  • by the_tsi ( 19767 ) Works for SourceForge on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:16PM (#26678071)

    Guitar Hero, etc. are not guitar simulators. They are rock star simulators. People play guitar rhythm games for similar reasons to playing e.g. flight sims or military games -- immediate access to a role that would otherwise take years of training and luck to get, combined with the ability to use resources that even learning "The Real Thing" wouldn't get you to.

    You can take flying lessons on your own, but you're never going to get to fly an F16 and blow shit up. You can enlist in the Army and be trained as infantry, but you're (very likely) not going to get to go on covert missions on a disputed island stealing Russian tanks to use against them.

    You *can* learn how to play the guitar, but the vast majority of people who know how to play are never going to stand in front of a crowd of 30K people and wow them by tipping your guitar up at the right time.

    The wide array of rhythm games have very little to do with music. The sooner that elitist amateur musicians like yourself get over that fact, the sooner you can accept that these games can be *fun* while not diminishing your hobby at all. Those who don't accept it can continue to feel threatened by these games and make the same tired argument you posted.

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!